He Was Vengence...He Was The Knight
(Kevin Conroy: 1955-2022)
The rain outside my window is fitting for a day like today. For those who know me, you know how much this man meant to me. The legacy he left was deeply personal. As a child, I would race to my grandma's house from school to catch the latest Batman The Animated Series episode. It captivated me on every level and solidified the character as my favorite superhero of all time. It was Kevin Conroy and his thoughtful, intentional, and masterful approach to his craft, that lit a flame inside of me that would go on to inspire my entire approach to creating comics and art. I don't know how many times I drew his Batman. I don't know how often I heard his voice, not only on the show/movies but while reading the comics I held so dear.
As I got older, my inspiration and intrigue went further than the character Mr. Conroy portrayed but focused on the man himself. He was such an inspiration. I listened to countless interviews about his story, his process, and how he approached characters (especially Bruce Wayne/Batman).
But the highlight was getting to meet the man. It was at Indiana Comic Con a few years back and we had both been working all day. He had his countless fans flocking to him for hours and I was pushing my own comics at my table about fifty or so yards away. When I finally got a chance to get in line, he and I were both exhausted, but even through the obvious tiredness, he lit up when he saw my Batman: Animated book and acted like it was the best thing he'd seen all day. He even offered to take a picture with me for free. I'll never forget that moment when meeting one of my heroes turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.
Then, Christmas of 2021 happened...and my lovely wife had me close my eyes for a very special present. I had no idea what was in store for me until I opened my eyes to see Mr. Conroy's smiling face on my tv screen. You see, due to my declining health, I still really hadn't been able to get back out there and my asthma was steadily declining. Two of my uncles had just passed from cancer and covid, not a month apart from each other. I was discouraged. I was depressed. I was feeling the weight of the last two years of isolation, loss, and sorrow crushing me. Then Robyn pressed play on the Cameo app and for the next 5 minutes Kevin Conroy, Batman himself, gave me the most encouraging and personal message I could have ever asked for. He addressed the loss, the isolation, and the sorrow that I had been feeling. He spoke of deeply personal things in my own life that I was struggling with as if he knew me intimately. As the tears flowed, I knew this was one of the best moments of my life. It's one thing to meet your heroes, but it's a completely different thing for them to personally reach into your soul and reawaken the light that had gone out. I couldn't have asked for anything better.
Mr. Conroy...thank you for all you've done in my life and in others. You were a bright spot in this dark world and that light will never be extinguished. Rest well, sir.